Closing Time

I came here to read the slow haul of a book
about John Craske, a worn-out seaman
who took to a secret life of embroidery.
But my eyes are weary. I close it.
Max is chained. They’re stacking up the chairs.

There’s a text from Graham: ‘you’ll laugh, but
those palates you kindly carried to my car
seem to have been pissed on by just about
every dog in the park’. The rain hammers down
on the lime-green dirt-encrusted umbrellas.

Ozzy sweeps up, then aims an imaginary gun
at the limping pigeon. The cars trail home.
These last few days have been a never ending
professional frenzy. Now I’m preparing
for the inevitable withdrawal –

a hollowing out by the adrenaline tide.
I try to ride this familiar sense
of impending, impenetrable loss.
Hold me on my way down. Let me arrive
in the solace of my slowing breath,

witness the critical budding azaleas
and The Walk To School by Philip Glass,
my earbuds on 28% charge.
The dusk-lit rain will eventually stop.
The air is velvet, suffused and trembling.